The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on Wednesday July 28 to "
protect the right to inform
", while "at
least seven journalists were attacked and others threatened
" during demonstrations against the health pass and others restrictions in France, Italy, Spain and Slovakia.
Read also: Health pass: what consequences for democracy?
Falsely assimilated to propaganda bodies supporting governments in place, journalists from several European countries were the targets of violent individuals during the demonstrations on Saturday, July 24 against the establishment of a Covid-19 health pass conditioning the access to various public spaces
”, RSF indignant in a press release.
The attacks, threats and obstacles that target them, while they report the events as independent observers, are unacceptable,
" said the head of the EU / Balkans office of the NGO, Pavol Szalai, quoted in the press release.
We call for effective protection of journalists during protests and during in-depth investigations into physical assaults.
The right to inform must prevail,
”adds Pavol Szalai.
Journalists attacked in several European countries
According to the NGO, in Italy, “
the most violent attack took place in Florence, where protesters kicked and insulted image reporter Saverio Tommasi from the news site fanpage.it for several hours.
To read also: "We are free French": at the heart of the anti-sanitary pass demonstration
In Rome, RAI journalists were insulted, as were their colleagues from the dailies Il Secolo XIX and Genova 24 in Genoa and others in Milan, where "
one of them was pushed by demonstrators
In France, during a march Saturday in Marseille, two journalists from France 2 were insulted, pushed around and chased away by a group of individuals.
The France Televisions group then announced that it was going to file a complaint, as BFMTV had done two days earlier, two reporters of which were taken to task by demonstrators in Paris.
And during the demonstration of July 17, in Besançon, Toufik de Planoise, reporter for Radio BIP / Media 25, "
received a punch
" from a "
", deplores RSF.
In Spain, in Madrid, "
demonstrators opposed to wearing masks and vaccination of minors against Covid-19
" threatened, insulted or booed reporters from Antena 3, Telemadrid and LaSexta.
Finally, in Slovakia, "
demonstrators attacked, jostled and insulted the journalist and the cameraman
" from TV Markiza.
Spain, France, Slovakia and Italy respectively occupy 29th, 34th, 35th and 41st place in the 2021 world press freedom ranking established by RSF.